What?! A post by me? Sorry for the disappearance, it's been a long month full of many changes for me. But you aren't here to read about me, so here we go.
Ladies Group One:
Kelsey Traunero-- Wearing Joannie Rochette's 2010 long program dress, or a very similar copy (including the hair piece)? Whatever the case, it didn't really match the music. Lots of muscle needed in the jumps elements, but she had some really decent spins. Strong edges, average (blah) choreography and interpretation.
Felicia Zhang-- Skating singles but no pairs here because of her rib injury? Lutz was cheated a bit and the toe loop crashed, and I felt like the entire program was lifeless. As noted, her elements (layback, combo spin) seemed watered down possibly due to injury, and her heart just didn't seem to be in the performance. Nice quality to her skating, but the overall finish could be greatly improved.
Alissa Czisny- Love this program, and I love how it's made her take her time. The one nit-pick I would have is that I wish she picked up the speed a bit, even if overall affect matches the music well. However, clearly no 'blah' choreography or interpretation here. In the opening seconds, you can see that she just 'gets' how to move her arms and fingertips, it's not forced in the slightest. The score makes me think one of the jumps was under-rotated (maybe the flip? it seemed like it landed on a really stiff edge), but still a great effort.
Christina Gao-- Obviously growing a ton since we saw her at last years Nationals. I'm still not thrilled with her posture and slow carriage, but the triple flip/triple toe was there as was the Lutz right out of steps. The Axel landed on a stiff edge as well and it sent the free leg flying around, making it look really rough. It was nice to see her put a lot of energy in the footwork towards the end, and she seemed to be really relaxed after the jumps were over. The score still gives her a shot to be competitive here.
Kristiene Gong- I liked the first part of the music with the slower pace, and I thought she set the mood extremely well. Didn't love the second part until the footwork sequence. Flip was majorly cheated. All of the spins seemed to die out by the time the final variation was achieved, with always drives me insane. Still, a nice quality to her.